Hong Kong to host first-ever ODIs

"There is real opportunity here for us to develop a beacon here for cricket in East Asia"

“There is real opportunity here for us to develop a beacon here for cricket in East Asia”

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Hong Kong continue to make history as it was confirmed that they would host their first-ever ODIs on home soil against Scotland in January.

Both ODIs, which will be part of the World Cricket League, are scheduled to be held at Tin Kwong Road Recreation Ground, also known as Mission Road, on January 26 and 28.

Hong Kong are also set to play Scotland in a four-day Intercontinental Cup match from January 21 to 24, which will be the first time first-class cricket has been played in Hong Kong.

The schedule also features two Twenty20 Internationals, which are set to be held on January 30 and 31, but both matches have still yet to be confirmed.

“There is real opportunity here for us to develop a beacon here for cricket in East Asia, whilst assisting the HKCA as it strives to be a leader for emerging cricket nations globally,” Hong Kong Cricket Association (HKCA) CEO Tim Cutler said. “With talk of cricket’s inclusion at the Olympics increasing, I think it is critical we do not overlook the opportunity to provide a world-class facility where we could also host women’s and under-age World Cup events. Twenty20 matches (or franchises) from the hugely successful Indian Premier League and Australian Big Bash Leagues are also an option.

“We could even provide a neutral Test venue. All of these would generate immense global interest and the potential TV revenue alone makes this a very exciting prospect, along with the obvious exposure for Hong Kong itself.”

While Cutler is excited about taking another step up the cricketing ladder, he admitted that Hong Kong still has a lot of work to do in regards to finding more venues to play international cricket.

“On the topic of grounds, we are continuing our discussions with the government and its appointed agents about accommodating cricket appropriately at the proposed Kai Tak Multi-Purpose Sports Complex,” he said.

Hong Kong were awarded ODI status in October 2014 and currently sit in 16th place on the International Cricket Council (ICC) rankings, while Scotland find themselves in 14th.

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